Bill Massey’s Tourists

A New Zealand WW1 play for all generations text customised for Museum performances

WW100 NZ SymbolJan Bolwell has written a sixty-minute solo play Bill Massey’s Tourists about her grandfather, Arthur Gardiner’s experiences in World War One. She writes from the point of view of a teenage granddaughter doing a school project on WW1 and trying to entice her grandfather to tell her about his war experiences. The play is titled Bill Massey’s Tourists because this is what the Kiwi soldiers called themselves, referring to their Prime Minister Bill Massey. The ironic title sets the tone of the play that is peppered with jokes, dances, songs and soldiers ditties about the war.

The play is designed as a touring show and can be set up in small non-theatre spaces. Bolwell states: “Many museums have exhibitions that commemorate New Zealanders in WW1 and my play is designed to support such exhibitions. I also welcome the opportunity to talk with the audience after the play.”

 

2 weeks ago
Photos from Bill Massey's Tourists's post

Well how is this for a venue! Played at Barrytown Hall last night. Quite an experience & great atmosphere. I have fallen in love with old halls.

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Bill Massey’s Tourists is a self sufficient touring show with its own set, sound and lighting systems.

  • Crew: One actor, one technician
  • Stage requirements: performance area needs to be a minimum of 6 metres x 6 metres
  • Pack in Time: 4 hours
  • Pack out time: 1-2 hours
  • Performance Fee as discussed.
  • Text and photos for advertising material
  • A poster file that you can modify for your needs
  • Programme notes and performer photo
  • Web-ready images
  • Jan is available for over-the-phone radio interviews

We will promote the event on the Bill Massey’s Tourists Facebook page.

View promotional material

Details

  • 2014
  • 60 minutes long
  • Written by Jan Bolwell
  • Performed by Jan Bolwell
  • Music by Laughton Pattrick
  • Handel’s ‘Ombra Mai Fu’ sung by Janet Baker
  • Presented by Handstand Productions

Most recent performances

  • Auckland Regimental Headquarters, Auckland, July 2014
  • Whitireia Performance Centre, Wellington, July 2014
  • Wellington Fringe Festival, Wellington Museum, February 2015
  • Dunedin Fringe Festival, Dunedin Community Gallery, March 2015
  • Waiheke Island, Community Theatre, September 2015
  • Garnet Station Cafe, Little Theatre, Auckland, September 2015
  • Hamilton Fringe Festival, Waikato Museum, March 2016
  • Napier Community Centre, Napier, June 25, 2016

Production team

  • Directed by Kerryn Palmer
  • Dramturge Ralph McAllister
  • Audiovisual designer, Andrew Simpson
  • Set: Nicole Cosgrove
  • Lighting: Janis Cheng

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Latest activity and performances

2 weeks ago
Photos from Bill Massey's Tourists's post

Well how is this for a venue! Played at Barrytown Hall last night. Quite an experience & great atmosphere. I have fallen in love with old halls.

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HAHA
WOW
SAD
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3 weeks ago
Photos from Bill Massey's Tourists's post

Playing in Oamaru last night was something truly special as I was bringing my grandfather Arthur Gardiner back to his home town. The large audience was so responsive and the play looked wonderful in ... See more

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3 weeks ago

We are now in the Deep South, performing in Owaka, Invercargill and Te Anau. It is interesting the number of older men who have been coming to see Bill Massey's Tourists, not the normal demographic ... See more

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Full list of performances

  • St Peters Hall Paekakariki July 2014
  • Whitireia Performance Centre July 2014
  • Auckland Regimental Headquarters July 2014
  • Museum of Wellington and the Sea, 2015
  • Fringe Festival Dunedin 2015

Schools

  • Paraparaumu College
  • Kapiti College
  • Tawa Primary School
  • Maidstone Intermediate School
  • Wellington Girls High school
  • Wellington East Girls College
  • Marsden Collegiate School
  • John McGlashan College

No matter how entrenched you are in your opinions, there is every chance this play will move you

John Smythe

…conveys with a compelling simplicity what it was like for a 20 year-old New Zealander to be thrown into the maelstrom of bloody war.

Laurie Atkinson